Kamchatka Peninsula

The Kamchatka Peninsula is one of the most exotic places in the world. The main wealth and wonder of Kamchatka which permanently attracts lots of tourists is its nature, which has been kept in almost untouched state till now.

Kamchatka nature

Where is Kamchatka?

The Kamchatka Peninsula is located on the northeast of Russia. The length of the peninsula is about 1200 kilometers. Kamchatka stretches from northeast to southwest. The peninsula lies between Okhotsk Sea to the west and Bering Sea, which is part of Pacific Ocean, to the east. Area of Kamchatka Peninsula is above 450 thousand square kilometers, but population is only 320 thousand of people.

More than half of population is concentrated in the town of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky on the south of peninsula, which is the administrative center of Kamchatka. Thereby, the remaining huge part of territory is kept sparsely populated, that's why the nature of Kamchatka is still so virgin and unaffected by human.

Kamchatka map

Weather of Kamchatka

Due to large territory stretching across different climatic zones, Kamchatka climate varies in different places. It is relatively warm on the south, the average temperature is up to +20 C in summer and to -15 C in winter. But it's very cold on the north, the winter temperature reaches -30 C and below. There is often a heavy fall of snow in winter. Snow in autumn and spring is also rather usual here.

Kamchatka exploration and history

The name of Kamchatka is also sometimes written as Kamschatka or Kamtschatka, but the right way is Kamchatka. One of the first explorers of the peninsula was the Russian Cossack Ivan Kamchatyi. According to one of suppositions, the Kamchatka River (the largest river in the peninsula) was named after his name, and later the whole peninsula was named likewise. The first attempts to explore Kamchatka in the 17th century encountered big difficulties because of lack of equipment, severe conditions and warlike local inhabitants.

Subsequent expedition led by Vladimir Atlasov in 1697 was more successful and almost the whole territory of Kamchatka was explored. After that the great Danish navigator and explorer Vitus Bering being in the Russian Navy service reached the peninsula and founded the town of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in 1740, which became the main settlement of Kamchatka.

Other navigators and explorers whose expeditions have also come to the coast of the peninsula were James Cook, Laperouse, Krusenstern, and others.

Kamchatka was a closed military zone for a long time in the period of USSR. Only after 1990 the peninsula has been opened for Russian and foreign tourists. This is another reason why Kamchatka has been kept so clear and untouched.

Kamchatka touristic resources

Travel to Kamchatka will be kept in your memory forever, you will recall time after time the days spent here. For many tourists this peninsula is considered to be the most beautiful place in the world, and it is absolutely well-deserved. The numerous tourist attractions of Kamchatka include fantastic Kamchatka Volcanoes, gushing geysers, amazingly beautiful nature landscapes, unique plants and animals, alpine meadows, healing hot springs, mountain rivers swarming with fish. Wild nature not touched by human is really astonishing.

Kamchatka Volcanoes

One of the wonders which permanently attract tourists from the whole world are the Kamchatka Volcanoes. There are 160 volcanoes here, 29 of them are active. Due to this, Kamchatka is often called Fire Peninsula. The biggest Kamchatka volcano is Klyuchevskaya Sopka, which is the highest active volcano in the Northern Hemisphere, its height is 4,750 meters. Due to volcanoes activity, landscapes of Kamchatka are so wonderful and unusual; somewhere it looks like the Moon or Mars surface. Kamchatka Volcanoes were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List and are often considered to be a one of the wonders of the world.

Kamchatka volkanoes

Valley of Geysers

Valley of Geysers is another amazing wonder of the peninsula. This place is the second largest in the world in the number of geysers and, as well as Kamchatka Volcanoes, was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. There are about 90 geysers and hot springs here. The largest geyser in the valley is Velikan (The Giant). The height of its gushing stream reaches 20-25 meters. This is accompanied by huge puffs of steam raising more than 100 meters high and around the geyser. Observing this phenomenon will give you really tremendous unforgettable impression.

Kamchatka geysers

Kamchatka wildlife

The peninsula boasts the great variety of wildlife. The main reasons for it are stretching of the peninsula across different climatic areas and sparse populating of the peninsula. Lots of animals and plants species living here are endemics, that is only inhabit in Kamchatka. Significant part of animals and plants are listed in the Red Book.

One of the most famous animals here is Kamchatka bear. It is very big, the length of body is about 2.5 meters, and it reaches 3 meters high standing on hind legs. The weight of Kamchatka brown bear may reach 700 kg. Kamchatka bear is relatively harmless for human and is not aggressive, excepting the situations when the bear encounters extreme lack of feed (for example in winter when it normally must hibernate), or when the female bear is accompanying her cub.

Kamchatka bear

Another interesting one is Kamchatka salmon fish. The variety of salmon species here is one of the biggest in the world. According to scientific estimating, Kamchatka rivers are the sources of up to 25% of all Pacific salmon. Rivers are literally swarming with the fish in period of salmon spawning. Moving forward upstream to the spawning place, salmon overcomes a strong counter flow and any obstacles on the way, during this it may even jump out of the water. Besides, it is really wonderful that after several years of travelling in the ocean the salmon returns back to the same river which it originated from. It is a real mystery for scientists how it can find the way to come back home.

Kamchatka salmon

We tried to present something about Kamchatka in this article, but actually, neither photos nor words can express all the charm and beauty of this wonderful place. To get a real impression of it, you with no doubts should travel to Kamchatka.

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